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Fabrication of highly durable polysiloxane-zinc oxide (ZnO) coated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fabric with improved ultraviolet resistance, hydrophobicity, and thermal resistance

Wang, Minglei, Zhang, Maojiang, Pang, Lijuan, Yang, Chenguang, Zhang, Yumei, Hu, Jiangtao, Wu, Guozhong
Journal of colloid and interface science 2019 v.537 pp. 91-100
adhesion, air, annealing, chemical bonding, durability, energy, fabrics, heat tolerance, hydrophobicity, laundry, mineralization, nanocrystals, nanoparticles, photocatalysis, polyethylene terephthalates, polymerization, silicon, zinc, zinc acetate, zinc oxide
Developing a universal strategy to improve the properties of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibers, such as UV resistance, hydrophobicity, and thermal resistance, is highly desirable in expanding the application of PET fibers. Herein, a highly durable and robust ZnO layer was deposited onto PET fabric via radiation-induced graft polymerization (RIGP) of γ-methacryloxypropyl trimethoxysilane (MAPS) and the subsequent sol-gel in situ mineralization with zinc acetate to produce wurtzite nanocrystalline ZnO. The as-obtained material, denoted as PET-g-PMAPS/ZnO. The interfacial layer consisted of Zn-O-Si and Si-O-Si covalent bonds not only leads to an improvement in adhesion between ZnO nanoparticles and its support, but it also overcomes the poor film-forming ability of inorganic particles. Most importantly, photocatalytic self-degradation of its organic support caused by the high photocatalytic activity of ZnO can be eliminated because of high bond energy of the organic-inorganic hybrid structure. PET-g-PMAPS/ZnO exhibited excellent thermal resistance, UV resistance and durability. Superhydrophobicity was achieved by simply annealing the PET-g-PMAPS/ZnO fabric at 200 °C in ambient air, and the coated fabric still retains its superhydrophobicity after 40 laundering cycles test and even stored for a few weeks. This study presents an effective method to overcome the bottle-necks in growing inorganic nanocrystals on polymeric supports surface.